Skip to main content

Facebook to give news sites a traffic surge with "Stories to Share" feature

Facebook is about more than posting emotive song lyrics and stalking exes — it's also a news site that can drive massive amounts of traffic to media outlets.

With that in mind, the company is rolling out its new "Stories to Share" feature.

For media organisations running their own Facebook Pages, the feature aims to make it easier for sites "to find the most engaging content they might want to post on Facebook," according to Justin Osofsky, vice president of media partnerships and global operations.

Using "Stories to Share," ITProPortal, for instance, can find suggestions of articles posted to our site, but not yet shared among our Facebook fans. The intention, Facebook said, is to help boost companies' online traffic.

On average, referral traffic from the social network to various media sites has increased more than 170 per cent over the past year, the company said. Citing a few specific examples, Facebook said that between September 2012 and 2013, Time's referral traffic numbers increased 208 per cent, while BuzzFeed's were up 855 per cent.

Osofsky also pointed to SimpleReach data, which revealed that Facebook continues to reign as the No. 1 social traffic driver.

And unsurprisingly, diligently curating a Facebook media page breeds results. Based on a seven-day, 29-media-site test, Facebook found that posting more frequently on such sites increased referral traffic by more than 80 per cent on average.

"Since every person has a unique relationship with the pages they are connected to, there's no magic number of how many more posts will impact referral traffic for all Facebook pages," Osofsky said. "Page administrators should test how increased posting impacts their referrals, Likes, and overall engagement."

Page administrators can find their suggested Stories to Share in the Insights Dashboard in the admin panel.

Osofsky reminded users that this is currently a test starting with media organisations and publishers, and is not yet available on all Facebook users.

Facebook this week also introduced videos into mobile ads.

Image: Flick (niallkennedy)